Sometimes I need a reminder as to what we are dealing with regarding GMOs. As with so many other things in life, deception is often the rule.
The lists and information below are not all inclusive and may not reflect the latest details on what products contain GMOs and which do not.
Not spending our money to support the genetically engineered food industry is one small thing we can do to fight back against corporate power and corruption and to help preserve our health.. If enough folks watch where their dollars go, it could become a major signal flashed all across the country that “enough is enough.”
As we all know, without a GMO labeling requirement and the fact that even the large ‘natural food’ stores like Whole Foods sell many products with GMO content, we are on our own.
For consumers, it can be difficult to stay up-to-date on food ingredients that are at-risk of being genetically modified, as the list of at-risk agricultural ingredients is frequently changing.
Agricultural products are segmented into two groups: (1) those that are high-risk of being GMO because they are currently in commercial production, and (2) those that have a monitored risk because suspected or known incidents of contamination have occurred and/or the crops have genetically modified relatives in commercial production with which cross-pollination (and consequently contamination) is possible. For more information on the Non-GMO Project’s testing and verification of risk ingredients and processed foods, please see the Non-GMO Project Standard.
High-Risk Crops (in commercial production; ingredients derived from these must be tested every time prior to use in Non-GMO Project Verified products (as of December 2011):
Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)
ALSO high-risk: animal products (milk, meat, eggs, honey, etc.) because of contamination in feed. Monitored Crops (those for which suspected or known incidents of contamination have occurred, and those crops which have genetically modified relatives in commercial production with which cross-pollination is possible; we test regularly to assess risk, and move to “High-Risk” category for ongoing testing if we see contamination):
Beta vulgaris (e.g., chard, table beets)
Brassica napa (e.g., rutabaga, Siberian kale)
Brassica rapa (e.g., bok choy, mizuna, Chinese cabbage, turnip, rapini, tatsoi)
Common Ingredients Derived from GMO Risk Crops Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ethanol, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products. You may also be wondering about…
Tomatoes: In 1994, genetically modified Flavr Savr tomatoes became the first commercially produced GMOs. They were brought out of production just a few years later, in 1997, due to problems with flavor and ability to hold up in shipping. There are no genetically engineered tomatoes in commercial production, and tomatoes are considered “low-risk” by the Non-GMO Project Standard.
Potatoes: Genetically modified NewLeaf potatoes were introduced by Monsanto in 1996. Due to consumer rejection several fast-food chains and chip makers, the product was never successful and was discontinued in the spring of 2001. There are no genetically engineered potatoes in commercial production, and potatoes are considered “low-risk” by the Non-GMO Project Standard.
Wheat: There is not currently, nor has there ever been, any genetically engineered wheat on the market. Of all “low-risk” crops, this is the one most commonly (and incorrectly) assumed to be GMO. It is a key commodity crop, and the biotech industry is pushing hard to bring GMO varieties to market. The Non-GMO Project closely watches all development on this front.
Salmon: A company called AquaBounty is currently petitioning the FDA to approve its genetically engineered variety of salmon, which has met with fierce consumer resistance. Find out more here.
Pigs: A genetically engineered variety of pig, called Enviropig was developed by scientists at the University of Guelph, with research starting in 1995 and government approval sought beginning in 2009. In 2012 the University announced an end to the Enviropig program, and the pigs themselves were euthanized in June 2012.
The availability of Non GM food vs. GM food is about 50/50. Most “brand name,” products and corporate giants genetically modify their foods. Most foods listed under the “non-genetically modified,” section are not well known and are not considered “mainstream.”
According to disclosed documents, minutes of a series of private meetings of representatives of 27 governments disclose plans to “speed up” the introduction of the modified crops and foods and to “deal with” public resistance to them.
Forget about immoral wars based on lies that result in the murder of hundreds of thousands of people, including the soldiers who “followed orders” and die in those wars. Forget about false flag operations like the Reichstag fire, 9/11, and the London bombings, when world leaders murder their own people in order to frighten them into submission. Forget about the international banking conspiracy to control all of the wealth on earth. Forget about the bio weapon programs run by our government that increased dramatically under the Bush administration, where an accident, an earthquake (or an evil individual like Dick Cheney) could potentially unleash life-ending viruses onto the nation and the world. And forget about the criminal suppression of technologies that would provide enough clean and cheap energy to fulfill all our needs.
If there is one reason that serves as an even stronger reason for the people of this planet to unite and storm virtually every government associated with the ruling establishment, it is the secretive, but confirmed, manipulation of the food chain of the entire planet! The people who rule this planet are altering the food chain in a way that is irreversible and in a way that could possibly lead to the extinction of life on earth!
As part of a presentation I give on media deception (in which I show people what media deception is and teach them how to spot it), I spend a short time talking about the ridiculous myth that Americans live in some sort of democracy. To illustrate this, I ask people who attend my presentations whether their consent was requested by our government before some scientists, some horrible evil scientists who misused their knowledge to create the world’s most destructive weapons, detonated the first hydrogen bomb. You see, when these scientists detonated the first H-Bomb they were not certain as to whether or not the explosion would be contained. Hydrogen bombs detonate in the atmosphere. The scientists in charge raised some concern that testing the bomb might cause the entire planet to explode in a huge nuclear chain reaction. Yet they went ahead despite this calculated risk! Your government risked your life and the lives of everyone who lived on earth that day. And they risked the lives of everyone who will live on this planet in the future. If you ask me…the people who decided that this would be OK, and the people who followed the orders of the decision makers, should have been charge with crimes against humanity and hanged…or worse!
Today, this risk is being taken without your consent again! Genetically modified crops and livestock are being infused into our food chain, forever changing the genetic makeup of our plants and animals. We have no idea what problems this may cause. We have no idea how this will affect our own health or the health of the ecosystem. We don’t know if or how viruses that infect any GM animals may mutate and kill us all. There is a clear risk that if you break one link in the food chain, the entire chain can collapse. And then what?
We recently had a big scare that still has not been resolved. You probably don’t know much about it because we don’t have a national news media in this nation. We have a perception management industry that is called mainstream media, but their job is to keep your false impression of reality alive and well. While they were reporting around the clock about the activities about two pre-selected presidential candidates, they made sure you did not pay too much attention to the fact that bees all over this planet started to mysteriously die off. Well, something was killing them, and no one knew what that was. There are some indications that GM crops caused them to mysteriously die off. Remember that without bees we have no pollination and as a result, for the most part, no plants. That means there are no trees or flowers to provide the earth with most of its food. And that also means that we significantly reduce the supply of oxygen that green plants give us in exchange for our carbon dioxide. And that’s pretty scary.
However, the bee issue pales in comparison to the even scarier human (corporate and government) manipulation of the genetic makeup of plants and animals on this planet. Talk about big government! It does not get any bigger than that! It’s one thing to tell me whom I can marry or what kind of sex I may enjoy, but it is a far greater crime to tamper with my food supply!
Many people have different opinions as to why governments are tampering with our food. Some believe it is conspiracy to control the profits of food sales. Monsanto, for example, has manipulated corn so that the corn does not produce seeds, and assures that farmers consistently have to buy new seeds…from whom?…from Monsanto of course! Not a bad business model…with a little help from legislators. Others believe that eugenics is at play here. It is a well kept secret that the global ruling elite have concluded that in order for the human species to survive we must bring the world population down to about 500,000 people. Well, we are closing in on 7 billion people on this planet. If the population of the world continues to grow at the current rate, we are about 10 years away from having to go to war over access to drinking water!
But no matter what the reason…the fact that my food supply is being tampered without any explanation, and without a way to reverse the changes…makes me want to ge out there and hang people. I have never been angrier than I am over this issue. I know that it is a crime to threaten people or to instigate a revolution. But I am going to say what needs to be said…there are people on this planet that have taken over aspects of life on earth and have left us with no way to protect ourselves from them or the ramifications of their actions. These people are at this moment secretively manipulating your life. They are murdering you. They are murdering your children. And I’ll tell you this…I would have no problem marching those bastards to the gallows!
According to disclosed documents, minutes of a series of private meetings of representatives of 27 governments disclose plans to “speed up” the introduction of the modified crops and foods and to “deal with” public resistance to them. OK, then I say that society should speed up an effort to eliminate these dangerous people…and then “deal with the government resistance!”
And to you police officers, FBI agents, CIA agents, Department of Homeland Security thugs and Blackwater hit men, you are all victims as well. You need to think about that before you protect those bastards! I am on your side! Remember that.
You know…sometimes I feel like the John McCarthy character at the end of the film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers! I sound crazy telling everyone about the pods…but, my friends…trucks of pods overturn on highways every day…you just have to stop for a moment to ask what they are! Heed the warnings…we really don’t have much time left. Think about it.
(NaturalNews) NaturalNews has learned that the FDA is intentionally plotting to deceive consumers over the labeling of irradiated foods, attempting to eliminate any requirement for informative labeling or replace the word “irradiated” with “pasteurized.”
In a feature story published by NaturalNews yesterday, we stated that the FDA does not require foods to be labeled as irradiated. We received a lot of questions from readers about that point, with some stating the FDA does, in fact, require foods to be labeled when irradiated. This is not always correct: Most foods are not required to be labeled as irradiated. This story explains the FDA’s food irradiation labeling policy in more detail and reveals the FDA’s plot to deceive consumers by misleading them into thinking irradiated foods are NOT irradiated.
Foods that are exempt from irradiation labeling
According to current FDA regulations, any food used as an ingredient in another food does NOT have to be labeled as irradiated. For example, if you buy coleslaw, and the cabbage in the coleslaw has been irradiated, there is no requirement that the coleslaw carry any labeling indicating it has been irradiated.
However, if raw cabbage is irradiated, then current FDA regulations do require it to carry an irradiation label. This label, however, is a symbol, not text, and many consumers have no idea what the symbol really means — it actually looks like a “fresh” symbol of some sort. In no way does it clearly indicate the food has been irradiated. This is the FDA’s way to “hide” the fact that these foods have been irradiated. (The symbol looks a lot more like leaves under the sun than food being irradiated…)
That same head of cabbage, by the way, if served in a restaurant, requires absolutely no irradiation labeling. All restaurant foods are excused from any irradiation labeling requirement. As stated at the FDA’s own website (1):
Irradiation labeling requirements apply only to foods sold in stores. For example, irradiated spices or fresh strawberries should be labeled. When used as ingredients in other foods, however, the label of the other food does not need to describe these ingredients as irradiated. Irradiation labeling also does not apply to restaurant foods.
How the FDA plans to deceive consumers and further hide the fact that foods are being irradiated
As stated above, the FDA does not want consumers to realize their foods are being irradiated. Consumer awareness is considered undesirable by the FDA; an agency that also works hard to censor truthful statements about nutritional supplements and functional foods. Accordingly, the FDA pursues a policy of enforced ignorance of consumers regarding irradiated foods, nutritional supplements, medicinal herbs and all sorts of natural substances. It is currently illegal in the United States to state that cherries help ease arthritis inflammation if you are selling cherries. (http://www.naturalnews.com/019366.html)
On the food irradiation issue, the FDA is now proposing two things that are nothing short of astonishing in their degree of deceit:
FDA proposal #1: Irradiated foods shouldn’t be labeled as irradiated unless consumers can visibly tell they’re irradiated.
This ridiculous proposal by the FDA suggests that foods shouldn’t be labeled as irradiated unless there is some obvious material damage to the foods (like their leaves are wilting). Thus, foods that don’t appear to be irradiated should not have to be labeled as irradiated.
Imagine if this same ridiculous logic were used to regulate heavy metals content in foods: If consumers can’t SEE the heavy metals, then they should be declared free of heavy metals!
FDA proposal #2: Irradiated foods should be labeled as “pasteurized,” not “irradiated.”
This FDA proposal is so bizarre that it makes you wonder whether the people working at the FDA are smoking crystal meth. They literally want irradiated foods to be labeled as “pasteurized.”
And why? Because the word “pasteurized” sounds a lot more palatable to consumers, of course. Never mind the fact that it’s a lie. Irradiated foods are not pasteurized, and pasteurized foods are not irradiated. These two words mean two different things, which is precisely why they each have their own entries in the dictionary. When you look up “irradiated,” it does not say, “See pasteurized.”
But the FDA is now playing the game of thought police by manipulating the public with screwy word replacement games that bear a strange resemblance to the kind of language used in the novel 1984 by George Orwell. And it is, indeed, an Orwellian kind of mind game that the FDA wants to play with the food supply: After unleashing Weapons of Mass Destruction (radiation) onto the foods, the FDA wants to label them all as simply being “pasteurized,” keeping consumers ignorant and uninformed.
How do I know the FDA wants to do this? The agency said so itself in an April 4, 2007 document filed in the Federal Register (Volume 72, Number 64). As published in the document (2):
FDA is also proposing to allow a firm to petition FDA for use of an alternate term to “irradiation” (other than “pasteurized”). In addition, FDA is proposing to permit a firm to use the term “pasteurized” in lieu of “irradiated,” provided it notifies the agency that the irradiation process being used meets the criteria specified for use of the term “pasteurized” in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the act) and the agency does not object to the notification.
Did you follow all that mind-warping logic? The FDA is essentially begging a company to petition it to use the term “pasteurized” instead of “irradiated” as long as they both result in the food being killed. Once it receives such a petition, it will approve it, claiming it is meeting “the needs of industry.”
The FDA already allows lots of word substitutions in the areas of health and medicine. The phrase “Toxic Poison” has been replaced with “Chemotherapy,” for example. “Over-medicated with dangerous psychiatric drugs” has been replaced with the term, “Treatment.” And the phrase, “Regulated with life-threatening synthetic chemicals” has been replaced with the word “managed,” as in “her diabetes has been managed.”
So why not introduce all sorts of other word substitutions that might continue the Orwellian “Ministry of Language” propaganda put forth by the FDA?
I say we substitute the word “medicated” with “treated” and “treated” with “rewarded.” That way, when a patient describes what drugs she’s on, she can say, “I’ve been rewarded with ten different prescriptions!”
Better yet, let’s replace the word “surgery” with “enhancement.” So anybody who undergoes heart bypass surgery, for example, can say they’ve really just had “Heart bypass enhancement!”
It sounds a lot easier to swallow, doesn’t it? And that’s what it’s all about, folks, when it comes to irradiating the food supply: Making it all sounds a lot less treacherous than it really is. Control the words and you control people’s ideas, and if there’s one thing the tyrannical FDA is really, really good at, it’s controlling words!
What the FDA really wants to accomplish
Let’s get down to some blunt truth about the FDA’s real genocidal agenda. What the FDA wants here is two things:
1) The destruction of the food supply (genocide) 2) The complete ignorance of the consuming public (nutritional illiteracy)
Genocide and illiteracy. Ignorance and fear. Tyranny, radiation and chemicals… These are the things the FDA truly stands for.
That pretty much sums up the FDA’s intent on this whole food irradiation issue. Destroy the food and mislead the People. And then wait for the windfall of profits at Big Pharma as the People degenerate into a mass of diseased, disoriented and desperate health patients. It’s business as usual at the FDA.
That’s why Dr. James Duke, creator of the world’s largest phytochemical database (http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke), had this to say about the FDA’s food irradiation policy:
“Perhaps the FDA should call up a billion dollar team to consider irradiating another health hazard – the FDA itself, which is almost as dangerous to our health as the pharmaceutical industry.”
Why I call this the unleashing of “Weapons of Mass Destruction”
In my previous article on this issue, I’ve called this food irradiation agenda a “Weapon of Mass Destruction” against the food supply. A couple of readers questioned me about that. Why, they asked, do I consider food irradiation to be a WMD?
WMDs include weapons that indiscriminately cause damage to people and infrastructure that serves the People. Dumping a radioactive substance into the water supply that serves a major city, for example, would be considered using a Weapon of Mass Destruction.
Interestingly, the use of Depleted Uranium by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan is also an example of Weapons of Mass Destruction, making the U.S. guilty of yet more crimes against humanity. (A previous example is the dropping of nuclear weapons on Japan’s civilian population in World War II.)
Irradiating the food supply is also an application of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and here’s a thought experiment that will clearly demonstrate it:
Suppose you wanted to irradiate your own garden vegetables. The minute you start trying to buy a machine that produces radiation, you would be quickly considered a terrorist and investigated by the FBI. They would visit your home and ask, “Why do you need a radiation machine?” And if you said you needed to irradiate your garden vegetables, they would look at you like you were completely nuts and probably haul you into the local FBI field office for yet more questioning, all while considering you a possible terrorist and likely adding your name to the no-fly list so you could never travel on commercial airlines.
If you don’t believe me, try to acquire a high-powered radiation emitting device and see what happens…
So why is it considered bizarre and possibly criminal when an individual buys a radiation machine to irradiate their own foods, but when the FDA pushes the same agenda on a larger scale, they call it “safety?”
Irradiated food isn’t altered, claims the FDA
Of course, the FDA says the irradiated food isn’t altered by the radiation. This statement is an insult to the intelligence of anyone with a pulse. Why? Because if the radiation doesn’t alter anything, then how can it kill e.coli and salmonella?
The whole point of the radiation is to kill living organisms. And it works by causing fatal damage to the tissues and DNA of those microorganisms. So guess what it does to the plants? Since radiation isn’t selective, it also irradiates the plant fibers and tissues, causing DNA damage and the destruction of enzymes and phytochemicals.
Amazingly, the FDA claims this does not count as “altering” the food because these changes aren’t visible.
If it weren’t such a nutritional atrocity, it would be downright hilarious. DNA changes are not visible to the human eye, but they can result in serious health consequences. Just ask anyone born with two Y chromosomes.
Eat up, guinea pigs!
Of course, the radiation pushers will claim that nobody really knows whether irradiating the food kills just 1% of the phytochemicals or 99% (or something in between). And they don’t know what the long-term effect is on human health, either. This is exactly my point: The irradiation of fresh produce is a dangerous experiment, and we’ve all been involuntarily recruited as guinea pigs.
I will be curious to see a serious scientific inquiry into the nutritional damage caused to fresh produce by irradiation. I also find it simply astonishing that this decision by the FDA has been made in the absence of such scientific studies. Much like it does with the pharmaceutical industry, the FDA prefers to poison the people first, and then figure out later just how much damage might have been caused.
I say when you’re dealing with the food supply, you should err on the side of caution. We are talking about the health of the nation here. This is not a small matter. It should be treated with extreme caution, skepticism and scientific scrutiny. Instead, it is being addressed with a gung-ho attitude framed in mind games and enforced ignorance.
In other words, rather than figuring out whether food irradiation is actually safe, the FDA would rather simply pretend it is.
Welcome to Make Believe Land, where all your food is now safe and nutritious, courtesy of the FDA!
‘You see our meat eating habits are more closely related to the vulture, the jackal or other carrion eaters. This means that we can’t be described as carnivores. We are better described as necrovores or eaters of rotting flesh.’
by Capt Paul Watson
The meat industry is one of the most destructive ecological industries on the planet. The raising and slaughtering of pigs, cows, sheep, turkeys and chickens not only utilizes vast areas of land and vast quantities of water, but it is a greater contributor to greenhouse gas emissions than the automobile industry.
The seafood industry is literally plundering the ocean of life and some fifty percent of fish caught from the oceans is fed to cows, pigs, sheep, chickens etc in the form of fish meal. It also takes about fifty fish caught from the sea to raise one farm raised salmon.
We have turned the domestic cow into the largest marine predator on the planet. The hundreds of millions of cows grazing the land and farting methane consume more tonnage of fish than all the world’s sharks, dolphins and seals combined. Domestic housecats consume more fish, especially tuna, than all the world’s seals.
So why is it that all the world’s large environmental and conservation groups are not campaigning against the meat industry? Why did Al Gore’s film Inconvenient Truth not mention the inconvenient truth that the slaughter industry creates more greenhouse gases than the automobile industry?
The Greenpeace ships serve meat and fish to their crews everyday. The World Wildlife Fund does not say a word about the threat that meat eating poses for the survival of wildlife, the habitat destroyed, the wild competitors for land eliminated, or the predators destroyed to save their precious livestock.
When I was a Sierra Club director for three years, everyone looked amused when I brought up the issue of vegetarianism. At each of our Board meeting dinners, the Directors were served meat and only after much prodding and complaining did the couple of vegetarian directors manage to get a vegetarian option. At our meeting in Montana we were served Buffalo and antelope, lobsters in Boston, crabs in Charleston, steak in Albuquerque etc. But what else can we expect from a “conservation” group that endorses trophy hunting.
As far as I know and I may be wrong, but my organization, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is the only conservation organization in the world that endorses and practises vegetarianism. My ships do not serve meat or fish ever, nor do we serve dairy products. We’ve had a strictly vegan menu for years and no one has died of scurvy or malnutrition.
The price we pay for this is to be accused by other conservation organizations of being animal rights. Like it’s a bad word. They say it with the same disdain that Americans used to utter the word communist in the Fifties.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is not an animal rights organization. We are exclusively involved in interventions against illegal activities that threaten and exploit marine wildlife and habitat. We are involved in ocean wildlife conservation activities.
Yet because we operate our ships as vegan vessels, other groups, and now the media dismiss us as an animal rights organization.
Now first of all I don’t see being accused of as an animal rights organization to be an insult. PETA was co-founded by one of my crew-members and many of my volunteers come from the animal rights movement. But it is not accurate to refer to Sea Shepherd as animal rights when our organization pushes a strict conservation enforcement policy.
And secondly we do not promote veganism on our ships because of animal rights. We promote veganism as a means of practising what we preach which is ocean conservation.
There is not enough fish in the world’s oceans to feed 6.6 billion human beings and another 10 billion domestic animals. That is why all the world’s commercial fisheries are collapsing. That is why whales, seals, dolphins and seabirds are starving. The sand eel for example, the primary source of food for the comical and beautiful puffin is being wiped out by Danish fishermen solely to provide fish meal to Danish factory farmed chickens.
This is a solid conservation connection between eating meat and the destruction of life in our oceans.
In a world fast losing resources of fresh water, it is sheer lunacy to have hundreds of millions of cows consuming over 1,000 gallons of water for every pound of beef produced.
And the pig farms in North Carolina produce so much waste that it has contaminated the entire ground water reserves of the entire state. North Carolinians drink pig shit with their water but its okay they say, they just neutralize it with chemicals like chlorine.
Most people don’t want to see where their meat comes from. They also don’t want to know what the impact of their meat has on the ecology. They would rather just deny the whole thing and pretend that meat is something that comes in packages from the store.
But because there is this underlying guilt always present, it manifests itself as anger and ridicule towards people who live the most environmentally positive life styles on the planet: the vegans and the vegetarians.
This is demonstrated through constant marginalization especially in the media. Any organization, like Sea Shepherd for example, that points out the ecological contradictions of eating meat is immediately dismissed as some wacko animal rights organization.
I did not set the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society up as an animal rights organization and we have never promoted animal rights in the organization. What we have promoted and what we do is oceanic wildlife and habitat conservation work.
And the truth is that you can’t practise solid and constructive conservation work without promoting veganism and/or vegetarianism as something that promotes the conservation of resources.
A few years ago I attended a dinner meeting of the American Oceans Campaign hosted by Ted Danson. He opened the dinner by saying that the choice he had to make was between fish and chicken for the dinner, and what was the point of saving fish if you can’t eat them?
Guest speaker, Oceanographer Sylvia Earle put Ted in his place by saying she did not think that he was being very funny. She said that she considered fish to be her friends and she did not believe in eating her friends. So neither Sylvia nor I ate dinner that night.
I met Sylvia again at another meeting, this time of Conservation International held at some ritzy resort in the Dominican Republic. Harrison Ford was there and the buzz was what could be done to save the oceans. I was invited as an advisor. I sat on a barstool in an open beachfront dining plaza as the conservationists approached tables literally bending from the weight of fish and exotic seafood including caviar. I looked at Sylvia Earle and she just shook her head and rolled her eyes.
The problem is that people like Carl Pope, the Executive Director of the Sierra Club, or the heads of Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International and many other big groups just refuse to accept that their eating habits may be just as much a part of the problem as all those things they are trying to oppose.
I remember one Greenpeacer defending his meat eating by saying that he was a carnivore and that predators have their place and he was proud to be one.
Now the word predator in relationship to human beings has a rather scary connotation having nothing to do with eating habits, but for any human being to describe themselves as a carnivore is just plain ridiculous.
Humans are not and have never been carnivores. A lion is a carnivore as is a wolf, as is a tiger, or a shark. Carnivores eat live animals. They stalk them, they run them down, they pounce, they kill, and they eat, blood dripping, meat at body temperature. Nature, brutal red in tooth and claw.
I’ve never met a human that can do that. Yes we found ways to run down animals and kill them. In fact we’ve come to be rather efficient at the killing part. But we can’t eat the prey until we cut it up and cook it and that usually involves some time between kill and eating. It could be an hour or it could be years.
You see our meat eating habits are more closely related to the vulture, the jackal or other carrion eaters. This means that we can’t be described as carnivores. We are better described as necrovores or eaters of rotting flesh.
Consider that some of the beef that people eat has been dead for months and in some cases for years. Dead and hanging in freezers, full of uritic acid and bacteria. It’s a corpse in a state of decomposition. Not much that can be said to be noble about eating a cadaver.
But a little dose of denial allows us to bite into that Big Mac or cut into that prime rib.
But that one 16 ounce cut of prime rib is equal to a thousand gallons of fresh water, a few acres of grass, a few fish, a quarter acre of corn etc. What’s the point of taking a shorter shower to conserve water as Greenpeace is preaching if you can sit down and consume a 1000 gallons of water at a single meal?
And that single cut of meat would have cost as much in vegetable resources equivalent to what could be fed to an entire African village for a week.
The problem is that we choose to see our contradictions when it is convenient for us to see them and when it is not we simply go into a state of suspended disbelief and we eat that steak anyway because, hey we like the taste of rotting flesh in the evening.
Have you ever thought why it is that with a person, it’s an abortion but when it comes to a chicken, it’s an omelette?
Does anyone really know what’s in a hot dog? We do know that the government health department allows for an acceptable percentage of bug parts, rodent droppings and other assorted filth to go into the mix.
And now tuna fish comes with a health warming saying it should not be eaten by pregnant women or small children because of high levels of mercury. Does that mean mercury is good for adults and non-pregnant women? What are they telling us here?
Eating meat and fish is not only bad for the environment it’s also unhealthy. Yet even when it comes to our own health we slip into denial mode and order the whopper.
The bottom line is that to be a conservationist and an environmentalist, you must practise and promote vegetarianism or better yet veganism.
It is the lifestyle that leaves the shallowest ecological footprint, uses fewer resources and produces less greenhouse gas emissions, it’s healthier and it means you’re not a hypocrite.
In fact a vegan driving a hummer would be contributing less greenhouse gas carbon emissions than a meat eater riding a bicycle.
Paul Watson (born December 2, 1950) is the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and a significant figure in the environmental movement and animal rights movement. He was named by Time Magazine in 2000 as one of its Environmental Heroes of the 20th Century….The first Sea Shepherd vessel, the Sea Shepherd, was purchased in December 1978 with assistance from the Fund for Animals. Sea Shepherd soon established itself as one of the more controversial environmental groups, known for provocative direct action tactics in addition to more conventional protests. These tactics have included, at times, ramming whaling ships at sea, and the scuttling of two ships in an Icelandic harbor. Watson remains the leader of Sea Shepherd today….. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Watson
(NaturalNews) The global food crisis won’t go away any time soon. Capitalism has the average consumer by the belly. Amid growing signs of famine and outrage, the entire chain of commodities and resources of the world are now being cornered by giant corporations. Farmland, water, fertilizer, seed, energy, and most of the basic necessities of life are falling under corporate control, providing increased wealth and power to the ruling elite while the rest of humanity struggles.
Commodity scarcity in India was recently reflected in the need to distribute fertilizer from the police station in Hingoli. Now police have to control the lines that form outside of dealer outlets, because the dealers won’t open for business otherwise. Without this intervention there would be no fertilizer for the planting that must take place before the rain comes. In Akola and Nanded, police involvement is also needed. Agriculture officers have fled their work places to escape angry farmers. In Karnataka, a farmer was shot dead during protests, while farmers stormed meetings and set up road blocks in other districts.
Despite the success of the genetically engineered Bt cotton crops, the trend in India is now back to soybeans because they cost less to grow and need less fertilizer than cotton.
And it’s not just fertilizer that is scarce. Seeds are also in short supply which is being blamed on agitation that has interfered with freight train traffic. However, the shortfall in seeds is 60 percent, a level more indicative of corporate intervention to drive up prices than the actions of powerless farmers.
As farmers fume, the Wall Street Journal heralds the whopping 42 percent jump in the fiscal third quarter profits of huge agriculture giant Archer-Daniels Midland. This increase includes a sevenfold rise in new income in units that store, transport and grade grains such as wheat, corn and soybeans.
The soaring profits of fertilizer maker Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan are reflected in the parabolic movement of its stock price from a yearly low of $70.35 to its current price of $238.22 per share. Shares of fertilizer and animal feed producer Mosaic Corp. have risen from a yearly low of $32.50 to a current price of $159.38.
Similar windfall profits are reported by GMO seed and herbicide king Monsanto whose last quarterly earnings surged by 45%.
Some onlookers blame the financial speculators for driving up the prices of commodities related to agriculture as wealthy investors have piled on looking to cash in on the rising stock prices. And in many ways, today’s commodity market resembles the dot.com boom seen at the turn of the century, as well as the housing boom now in the throws of its bust.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission recently held a hearing to investigate the role that index funds and hedge funds are playing in driving up the prices of agricultural commodities. Total public fund investment in corn, soybean, wheat, cattle and hogs has risen by 37 billion dollars since 2006. This figure does not include the huge investments of hedge funds which don’t have to make such disclosure. It also doesn’t include the massive world wide investments in farmland made by the wealthy.
The corporate spin is that these investments are helpful to humanity because they will ultimately result in increased food production at a time of rising world demand. They cite the need for increased corporate profits to invest in and develop new technologies that will help farmers improve productivity. This is how GMO seeds are being driven down the throats of farmers, who are told that the modified seeds can squeeze even more yield from each acre of planting.
India has joined other developing countries in the decision to invest less in agriculture as advised by the World Bank-IMF, whose agenda has been to discourage crops for domestic consumption while encouraging production to spur export driven growth. This advice coupled with corporate sponsored deregulation has paved the way for corporate control of the farming process from seed to market. Research and development that was once the domain of universities has also fallen into corporate control.
Farmers in India are caught in a credit crunch. Even if they are able to get the needed fertilizer, they will not have the credit to pay for it. With no increase in farmer income, larger loans are not advanced. The outlook for the small farmer there is much the same as it was in the U.S. thirty years ago, during the height of the small farms falling to big agribusiness.
Corporations blame food shortages and rising prices on the people of China and India whose burgeoning income from manufacturing has allowed the average worker to increase both the amount and quality of his food consumption. But for the corporations, the increased demand for food is a guarantee of super profits to come.
Of course the other commodity you can’t get along without is water, which is now the focus of huge multinational companies seeking to privatize water world wide, perhaps even patent it as Monsanto did with seeds. The fight over water may bring chaos, conflict and misery on a scale never seen before as corporations and governments go so far as to grab the wells from under people’s houses.
And then there’s oil. To produce chemical fertilizer you must make use of fossil fuel. So rising oil prices and rising food prices are joined at the hip. The behavior of corporations in the oil business has been so egregious that there is talk of a windfall profits tax here and abroad.
No, the food crisis will not go away anytime soon. North Korea, Burma and Western Sudan are currently feeling a real threat of starvation while western governments manipulated by corporations continue to promote the diversion of food into biofuels to further exacerbate the upward movement in food prices. Almost all U.S. corn production between 2004 and 2007 has gone into the production of ethanol. European production of ethanol has more than tripled during the same period. This has led to a fall off in grains relative to overall demand which is not a market phenomenon but is the direct result of the government sponsored, corporate backed programs. This comes at the expense of people looking for something to eat, particularly the world’s poor who are now effectively priced out of the food market.
P. Sainath, The Hindu, “Fertilizing profit, sowing misery”
Bogdan C. Enache, China Confidential, “Biofuels and the threat of starvation”
About the author
Barbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using “alternative” treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.
For the best summary of health risks, I will rely on Jeffrey Smith’s research. Jeffrey Smith is one of the most influential activists in the fight against genetically modified foods. He is the founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology and he has written two definitive books on the subject: Seeds of Deception, and Genetic Roulette (2007). It was reading Genetic Roulette, the reference book on the health risks of genetically engineered food, that got me inspired to become involved in this movement. Smith’s strength is taking scientific studies and explaining them in layman’s terms. He does an excellent job of defining what genetically modified organisms are at the beginning of his interview with Functional Medicine Update:
“With genetically engineered foods you take single genes or combinations of genes, typically you make changes in the structure of them, and then you artificially force them into the DNA (the genome) of other organisms. So it is not natural, but it is rather a method of selecting certain traits, pulling it out of context, and transferring it into species that would never naturally contain those genes. The process itself also causes massive collateral damage in the DNA, causing mutations and changed gene expressions, etc.”
I will briefly summarize the major points in Genetic Roulette, on his website, and from his February, 2008 interview.
GE foods carry a risk of known and unknown allergens. The incidents of soy allergies in Europe increased by 50% after GE soy was introduced. Test results determined that there were known allergens in GE soy that are not in conventional soy. Also, after eating GE soy, someone who was not originally allergic to soy can become allergic to conventional soy. Allergies have also been reported in response to crops engineered to produce Bt toxin. The process of genetically engineering crops is inherently unpredictable, and the risk of known and unknown allergies is a serious concern.
There is no benefit to consumer or food produces for using GE food. Approximately 80% of commercial crops are designed to be resistant to the firm’s brand of herbicide, the residue of which poses health risks to humans and is clearly harmful to the environment. Almost all other GE crops are engineered to produce Bt toxin, a pesticide, in all edible parts of the plant. Allergic reactions and other health risks have been associated with Bt toxin and Bt crops.
In sum, there is NO good reason to eat genetically engineered food. They are not produced for the benefit of consumers, and they are simply not worth the risk. 60% of Americans believe that they have never eaten GE food, but according to Greenpeace, 70% of food in grocery stores are genetically modified. To find out how to avoid GE food, read the Greenpeace GMO Guide, which lists products Greenpeace believes are GE-Free and those which are not. Also read Jeffrey Smith’s How to Buy Non-GM guide.
According to the Viewspaper, British researchers are developing GE mosquitoes to deal with malaria. A few strategies they are working with, thanks to $38 million in grants from the Gates foundation, are engineering the insects to be resistant to the malaria parasite, and inserting a gene for sterility in males to control the populations. However, one has to question the way we are chosing to control this disease, and whether we are creating a larger problem then we are solving.
While genetically engineered food does not solve any real problem, and therefor is absolutely not worth the risk (read What is wrong with GE food?), Malaria is a devastating disease. 3 million people die every year from the illness which is transmitted by mosquitoes. One could argue that saving 3 million lives per year is worth releasing a new gene into the environment, however we have to seriously consider the long term implications.
First off, inserting a sterility gene into an animal and released into the environment is incredibly dangerous. When birds and dragonflies eat the mosquitoes, the gene could transfer into the larger animals body through horizontal gene transfer.
One also has to consider that when mosquitoes sting human beings, they inject saliva into our blood in order to block the hemostasis system (the system which naturally stops us from bleeding). Their saliva consists of at least 20 active, and many inactive proteins. Any gene manipulation is going to have unintended effects on how proteins are created and expressed, and will likely lead to the creation of novel proteins. Essentially by genetically engineering mosquitoes, we are again using human beings in an uncontrolled genetic experiment, although this time it will be sub-Saharan Africa instead of North America.
I believe that this method of reducing disease is akin to swallowing an uncontrollable genetically-engineered spider to kill the fly.